Diclaimer: I couldn’t own these characters any less. No profit is made from this lunacy.
This fic is for the incomparable Malana.
LIST THREE BTVS/ATS MAJOR CHARACTERS: (you'll get at least one in your fic):
Cordelia, Anya, Dawn
LIST AT LEAST THREE OF THE ABOVE GENRES THAT YOU'D BE TICKLED TO RECEIVE:
X-Men, Smallville, Doctor Who, Veronica Mars
LIST THREE THINGS YOU WANT IN YOUR FIC: humor, romance, fluff
LIST THREE THINGS YOU DON'T WANT IN YOUR FIC: character death, Spuffy, angst
AN: At first I wrote Dawn/Clark, but it wouldn’t go anywhere. Then I wanted to write Veronica Mars. What came out? Logan/Cordelia post AtS and X3. I think all Smallville, Veronica Mars and X-Men have some angst going on in their core but I don’t think it’s overwhelming here. As for romance and fluff, they’re not exactly there yet. I guess I botched the assignment, but I really hope you like it anyway!
THE HOTEL ROOM
A dark, dank, dirty motel room. A brooding champion. Where had she seen this before? It would be funny had it not been her life. Or her unlife. She’d been able to observe this one. He’d definitely proven himself. Of course he was completely useless now. And why did he have to smell so bad? Someone who could look as good as he could, should definitely not smell like this.
It smelt so bad she had the urge to do his laundry; except Cordelia Chase does not do laundry. Ever. Except for when she had no money when she first moved to LA but really, it would have probably been worth paying the dry-cleaning bill because she ruined so many clothes by not following instructions. And that was her laundry, not some dude’s.
This one needed to get to the dry cleaners, pronto. He liked jeans and leather and tight shirts. Really, déjà vu much? Maybe they considered her an expert in the field, or maybe they were laughing at her. Either way she wanted to tell them to sit and spin but instead of having the satisfaction of doing so, she heard a sniggering ‘sticks and stones…’ from her guide.
“Get out of my head,” she said out loud. She stuck out her tongue for good measure, but heard nothing more of it. She’d been observing him for long enough that she should have gotten the annoyance out of her system, but it was hard to feel anything negative up there. Now that she was in a body again, she could feel all kinds of things. The last thing she remembered doing on this plane was kissing Angel goodbye. What complete assholes! She couldn’t believe they had screwed up the way they had. Stupid Jasmine and her stupid giving-birth to herself plan and stupid Angel and friends not knowing the difference… Boo! Hiss!
She almost tripped over his legs. The man was completely conked out right now, drool dribbling out of the corner of his mouth. Thank Gods for that little fact, because he was so fine it was good to have that image to dampen the heat she felt when she thought of him. Now she could easily conjure up a picture of him, snoring away on the dirty carpet next to the dirty bed. Made her think of all those television exposés where they walk around these places with backlights. This poor excuse for a motel would blow all those shitholes out of the water. Shithole was too classy a word for this place. Shitholes everywhere would be offended at the mere sight of this place. The Hyperion had been abandoned for like, 50 years and it was WAY better. Can you imagine?
Getting that drunk was probably really hard with his insanely-fast healing, she thought. There must have been 60 bottles strewn about the room and old half-smoked cigars on almost every surface. She didn’t get why they found the need to make her corporeal again in this stench. It was probably one of those cruel sick jokes TPTB were so famous for, bastards.
She didn’t have any clothes, of course, and why should she? ‘Being thrust back into existence with a strange man? Wear your birthday suit!’ They were probably afraid she’d leave the room. She walked around trying not to tip anymore bottles over and plugged her nose. That left one hand to go through his duffle and after a sickening flash she prayed cockroaches would not come crawling out of there. Naked or no, she would HAVE to leave if that happened.
She came away with a rumpled white button-up shirt and figured he wouldn’t wear it in a million years. Got a pair of boxer shorts and figured SHE wouldn’t wear it in a million years. Eww. Pungent. She had to dig for a Wesley word to describe them, that’s how bad they were.
She twisted her sleeves up and sighed. Who was she kidding? Cordelia Chase did not live in such filth, unless she really really had to. I mean, she’d pay for it to smell like her first apartment right now, mouldy milk crusting up old cereal bowls and all.
She’d have to make a woman of herself and start picking his crap up, if only to make it better for herself. Plus, if no one saw her do it, it wouldn’t harm her reputation… Especially since she didn’t have a reputation and besides, her sense of self was really all in her head at this point.
She opened the front door and was assaulted by sunlight. She hadn’t felt the sun on her face for so long, she closed her eyes to savour the moment. It was too early in the morning for any of the undesirables who frequented this place to be out and about so she lingered on the balcony a little bit. She laughed when she saw that the Motel was called ‘Ideal’. Shyah, ri-ight. Cows in Pylea might think it was a step up, but only slightly.
She started piling up bottles next to the door, opened the window and sneezed when the dust around the room started flying around. Ugh. Bad move. She emptied the ash trays and the food containers into a garbage bag, tried not to gag. Good clean fun. Not.
After a few hours the room was… well still the most disgusting place she’d ever been, and that was saying a lot. The things she did for the common good, she so deserved a medal. Or, you know, a credit card.
She locked the room door behind her and after an extensive debate on whether she should sit on the bed or a chair, decided to have a shower instead.
She actually very much enjoyed the shower, what with there being industrial strength soap in there. This was not a situation where anyone would want girly expensive soap. She needed to be purified.
After the third scrubbing she started getting sleepy. She almost fell on her butt when the door banged open.
“Give me a heart attack, jeez,” she said, pushing the curtain open.
“Who are you?” Wolverine asked, claws out.
“You crash in here to ask me that? What, you thought I’d attack you from the shower?”
He walked over menacingly and put one of his claws up against her neck.
“Cordelia Chase. Nice to meet you,” she said sarcastically. “Ow!” She yelled as the claw nicked her skin. “What the hell?” She asked, wiping the tiny drop of blood away with water.
“Won’t rust, huh?” She asked about his dripping appendages.
After a few very long seconds he let his claws back in and backed up a step. His breath really smelled, and although she thought of covering up with the shower curtain, just touching the thing made her heave. Anyway, if they were going to live in close quarters all the time, they’d better get hella comfortable together.
“What are you doing in my room?”
“Is that what you call this place?”
“If you don’t start answering questions I’m going to start getting annoyed,” he said, gritting his teeth. Cordelia knew how tired he was and figured she should get to it.
“Fine,” She started, turning back her back to the shower to rinse out her hair. “The Powers that be sent me to you. I’m the Seer, you’re the Champion, yada, yada, yada; you’re stuck with me.”
“Champion?” He asked, incredulously. “Boy do you have the wrong guy.”
“It doesn’t really matter what you think about it,” she said, rinsing the shampoo out of her hair. “They brought me back to life for you. I’m here for you. You need a seer, someone who’s been through this kind of thing before. A link to humanity, if you will. It was going to be that girl with the white streak, but free will and all that.”
“What about Marie?” he ground out, claws coming out.
“Nothing. Good for her. She’ll be able to touch for awhile, be a kid. Until it wears off.”
“The cure, it’s not permanent?”
“No, it isn’t, and are you going to do that every time you don’t like what I say? ‘Cause doesn’t that hurt?”
“You’re one messed up mutant, Wolvie.”
“Don’t call me Wolvie,” he said, claws coming out again.
“Would you stop? Take a chill pill. The naked girl in your shower is not going to attack, you freak,” she shouted. That seemed to shake him out of it. They both stopped talking then and faced their unconventional situation.
It’d been YEARS since she’d had sex, and she knew it’d been since before getting mixed up with the X-Men for him. Maybe all this nudity was tad too much. He was just so hurt right now, he needed someone so badly, and if she didn’t have the control she had she would be kissing him (bad breath or no).
When she looked him in the eye she caught him staring at her in a very predatory way. He scanned her from head to toe before turning away. She got warm and tingly in some interesting spots on her body. She swallowed.
“I think you should take a shower,” she said, getting out and wrapping a towel around herself.
“Cause you stink, moron.”
“What? You totally do. And brush your teeth. Smells like an animal died.”
“Fine. I’ll do it, but only because you’re some freaky hallucination I’ve got no desire to deal with.”
“Whatever. Start stripping, stinky.”
She had the urge to stay in the bathroom with him because she’d seen his body and DAMN, hairy chest aside, he was a FINE piece of man. He wasn’t ready for that. Neither was she, really. She just felt linked to him and couldn’t help but understand his pain, his longing, his need for connection, his fear of hurting those he loves.
She had to take this hour by hour. He was still dealing with that woman with the really bad hair’s death and he hadn’t even finished dealing with all the Weapon X crap he barely knew about. He was younger than Angel, about 115, but he was so traumatized he blacked most of those years out. He went by Logan and that suited him more than his original name, James Howlett, she thought.
The most extreme event in his life had been having adamantium grafted onto his entire body by people who wanted to make the perfect soldier. Without pain killers. From what she heard about the whole Adam fiasco that kind of stuff was still happening. He had nightmares. He fought. He drank and smoked and professed to hate everybody. He didn’t though, not even close. She knew he had a big ol’ marshmallow heart. It was almost sickening really, the way he had been obsessed with that Jean Grey person. It was like Buffy and Angel all over again except that the redhead had liked her actual boyfriend more. If a higher being could break out in hives, she would have when she watched the last months of his life unfold. Eww. He could really get his cheesy on with this Super-doctor turned villain. It was sad to see such a fine man reduced to pining like that… Ugh, it was so annoying. She would have been, like, screaming and throwing popcorn had she been watching a movie.
She had to admit to being just a twinge jealous. Why didn’t that kind of stuff ever happen to her?
Angel? When he realised how indispensable* (*meaning: useful and awesome and drop-dead gorgeous) she really was, she was dead already and there’s usually no way back from that.
She wouldn’t let that stuff happen a second time. Here she had a chance to feel again. To help again. To matter again. Sure, she was lying on the bed on top of a towel in the vilest place she’d ever had the misfortune of smelling, but this was her gig now, her life, and she would be tied to him as long as he needed her. She looked around at the clothes piled around the room.
She hoped he had some money stashed because his whole wardrobe needed the cleansings of all cleansings, maybe even an exorcist. Unless he wanted to parade her around in his shirt, she’d need some clothes too. The short term was definitely looking up, because if there was one thing Cordelia Chase liked to do, it was shopping.
When Logan came out of the bathroom he looked like he was surprised to see her.
“What?” she said, flipping the channel.
He didn’t say anything. He advanced towards her almost menacingly. When she didn’t move he walked all the way up to the bed. She held his gaze defiantly. There was no way he was going to scare her, especially not glistening with water and half naked; at best that would serve as a distraction.
“You’re blocking the television, big guy,” she said, before leaning over to flip the channel. So far she’d clicked on Montel, General Hospital and blurry porn. Had television not evolved at all since she’d been in high school? She was a better actress than more than ¾ of the girls she’d seen so far and what was she doing? Not helming her own show that’s for sure. She’d completely scratched that when she’d uttered the phrase ‘so demonize me already’. All she was now was a naked dead girl with no friends on a stinky bed with one of the broodketeers staring at her like he thought she’d go away or something. He was so deluded.
After a long moment, he moved for the door.
“I’m going to go out for some food, when I get back, you’ll be gone, capice?”
“Whatevs hairy,” she said shaking her fingers at him. “As long as you’re picking up some food though, I’ll take a turkey sandwich on a whole wheat bun and a diet coke.”
“I don’t take orders.”
“Fine, get me what you want. And bring back some Febreeze if we’re going to live in this hellhole.”
She had fallen asleep by the time he got back. She didn’t even hear the door close.
“Hey naked girl. Wake up,” he said, advancing on her carefully.
“Oh hey. What did you bring me?” She asked, waking from a comfortable sleep and found that the place didn’t smell nearly as bad when you got used to it.
“Hell no, do I look like one of those girl who doesn’t eat anything?”
“No?” He asked, eyebrow quirked. If she didn’t know any better, she’d think he was scared of answering. Smart boy.
“Got that right, bub. So where’s my food?” She asked, pulling down his shirt over her crossed legs. After a moment he moved for the phone.
“I’ll call for pizza.”
“Hell no,” he said.
“You think you can intimidate me with your growling? I grew up on the Hellmouth buddy! I’ve been growled at by a lot meaner things than you.”
“I need meat.”
“Get half-and-half, grumpy. I’m starving.”
He acquiesced, looking her way warily while she flipped the channels on the crappy television.
That went well, she thought, as her stomach let out a resounding growl that made him jump a little. She smiled a half smile at him and shrugged. He dialled and ordered.
At least he wasn’t running away. Yet.
They stared at each other for a long, very uncomfortable time.
“SO, what do you want from me?”
“I already explained that. The Powers that be sent me to be your Seer.”
“And what asylum did you break out of?” He asked.
She looked at him like he’s the one who had a mental defect. She made a big production of getting up, and walking towards him, enunciating every word. “I. am. Your. Seer. You’re. Stuck. With. Me. You’re. Going. To. Fight. Bad. Guys. I’ll. Get. Splitting. Headache. Visions. And. Hopefully. Occasionally. Have. A. Manicure.”
“And what if I refuse?”
“I don’t think you will,” she said, jumping back on the bed and coughing at the dust cloud that came up. All he could do was stare at her bare legs. “In the meantime I need some haircare products, some clothes, maybe a few pairs of snazzy shoes-” she sneezed.
“So what now?”
“Now we wait for the pizza, I’m starving.”
“Um,” he said, looking sort of annoyed at what he was going to ask. She scooted over to make room for him.
“You can sit on the bed; this is your ‘room’, if you can call it that. Smells like an outhouse-slash-brewery during a heat wave. I can’t believe you can even stomach it with your nose. You must really want to torture yourself.”
“Now wait a minute, don't talk about me like you know me.”
“Please, I know the president of brood. You’re maybe like, the secretary of brood.”
He growled and took a step back from her.
“Alright, the vice-president,” she conceited, crossing her legs. He eventually sat down next to her.
“So, how we doing financially, Wolvie? And where's my Febreeze?”